Tyron Love (1982 - ) is a KwaZulu-Natal-born cartoonist. In 2000, he enrolled for (and later completed) a degree in animation at the Centre for Fine Art, Animation and Design (CFAD). He proved to be a gifted student; CFAD named him “Most Creative Cartoonist” (2000), “Animator of the Year” (2002) and “Cartoonist of the Year” (2003). In his second year he created an animated advert for Life Line that was nominated for the 2001 Vuka Award finals.
Love is known for “Lonely Schnozz”, a cute but melancholic cartoon figure, who manifested when Love spent a prolonged period in hospital. The character acted as “an alter-ego who often reflected [Love’s] mental state". His second body of work, Yummy Lemons, provided an autobiographical comic exploration of his son, Emmett's, life. In terms of his comic influences, Love revealed in an interview:
I grew up obsessed with Calvin and Hobbes. Bill Watterson redefined newspaper comics. He made them magical again. Later on, I fell in love with Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig’s work.
Love formed part of a group of young South Africa cartoonists whose work was exposed through the exhibitions curated by famed cartoonist, Andy Mason. The most notable of these exhibitions was “Off the Wall” which saw Durban’s graffiti artists team up with the city’s cartoonists “in a unique crossover event that [combined] visual narrative with the art of the street. Love featured at the first exhibition (2006), the second exhibition (2007) and curated the third instalment (2008) together with tattoo artist, Ross Turpin.
In 2012, Love appeared at local underground comic book gathering, Co/Mix, held as part of the year's Open Book Festival in Cape Town. He took part in a discussion with Andy Mason entitled “Draw Your Life, Publish Yourself” that focused on autobiographical comic making.
Love’s cartoons have appeared in Mason’s “What's So Funny?: Under the Skin of South African Cartooning”, Mamba Comix, Africartoons, Black and White in Ink Exhibition and the accompanying book, Polony Mixed Meat magazine, Truth Magazine, Spirit Magazine, Champ Comic, and numerous websites and commercial projects. One of these projects included the illustration of Fiona Khan's The Grasshopper Who Could Not Jump.
The KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province has had a profound influence on his work. He told the project:
The melting pot of cultures in KZN inspired a number of projects, most notably Thekweni Taxi a cartoon strip billed to run in the Saturday Independent in the early 2000's. The characters were based on the various Durban cultures and their eccentricities. I'm sad that project never took off, however it was widely exhibited.
The Durban Cartoon Project was an initiative which I co-founded [and] developed to harness cartooning in KZN, this project kick-started the careers of great cartoonists such as Sifiso Yalo, Themba Siwela, Warren Raysdorf, Alastair Laird and Luke Molver. It was a great time for cartooning in KZN and proved that we have world class talent in our province.
Living in Durban has also allowed me to collaborate with many other art disciplines including graffiti art, fine art and installation art.
Love currently lives in Kloof. He works as a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Manager at digital marketing agency, Jellyfish.
Pictured: Lonely Schnozz cartoon
Pictured: Yummy Lemons Cartoon